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Are Florida High School Athletes At Risk for Brain Injuries

A study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine finds that the number of traumatic head injuries among high school football athletes is much higher than the number of the same personal injuries in college football. The study also find that high school players who sustain brain injuries such as concussions often return to the game too soon, often playing with the residual effects of their first injury, a choice that researchers point out is extremely dangerous. Florida parents should be wary: with more days of sunny weather, there are simply more options for Florida high school athletes to keep playing, which can spell trouble.
The study found that football-related brain trauma has decreased over generations, mostly due to better gear. In the 1950s and 1960s, football players in both college and high school were at much greater risk for brain injury than they are today, the study found.
The problem, the study concluded, is that some high school football player return to the field even while experiencing neurological symptoms. Researchers found that there is one severe football head injury for every 150,000 high school football players, which is about seven catastrophic head injuries every year. Researchers uncovered that high school players have over triple the risk of catastrophic head trauma when compared to college players. While high school football players suffered 0.67 such injuries per 100,000 players, college athletes sustained only 0.21 injuries per 100,000 players.
The younger age of the high school players may contribute to brain injury, some researchers have hypothesized, since the skull bone may be thinner and the brain less fully developed among teenage athletes. Others researchers have suggested that less medical coverage may be present at high school games.
Of the high school football players that researchers studied, 59% had had a previous head injury. 71% of these injured players had sustained their earlier injury in the same season. Roughly 40% of the players with head injuries continued to play football, even while experiencing symptoms from the previous injury. About 81% of the injuries occurred when players were involved in helmet-to-body or helmet-to-helmet collisions. Of the group studied, the injuries lead to 8 fatalities, 36 full recoveries, and 46 permanent brain injuries.
Researchers concluded that high school students should be strongly urged to report any possible symptoms of personal injury to their coaches, parents, and physicians. Additionally, the researchers concluded that football players should be strongly discouraged from “leading with the head” and from returning to the game until all symptoms are resolved. Finally, the researchers concluded that medical staff for high school athletes should be highly qualified.
If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury as a result of sports or an accident, a qualified Florida attorney can help ensure that you get the best quality medical care possible. If you need to speak to an attorney, book a free, no-obligation consultation with a qualified Florida attorney simply by calling 1- 800-535-2962 (1 800 5 FLAXMAN).